The New Class Season 4, Episode 16: “Karate Kids”

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We open in the hallway where Maria’s decorated Nicky’s locker in preparation for a big wrestling meet because, oh, yeah, they’re still dating. Ryan, Rachel, and Eric think it’s super-de-doo cute but, don’t worry, this isn’t another wrestling episode and, in fact, it won’t come up again this episode.

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Naturally this leads to Nicky giving Maria a pop kiss as the rest of the gang creepily stares at them, no doubt mentally undressing the pair. And a pop kiss is, of course, enough to send our audience into a fit because they just wish someone would touch them.

Katie runs up, declaring that she’s late to the party because she had to help her Aunt Clara find her…teeth. Eww. We’ve hit rock bottom with this show. Please tell me we have. In any case, Katie’s staying with her aunt while her parents are away because she’s apparently not old enough or responsible enough to stay home by herself in high school.

Oh, and, in case you’re keeping score, it took Katie exactly three episodes to get over Nicky and Maria’s treachery. Three episodes. I’ve seen more realistic love triangles on Looney Tunes.

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Yet again, Mr. Belding and Screech forget Bayside has a nice intercom system and, instead, yell the announcements in the hallway. So, if you don’t happen to be in the hallway when they’re yelled, tough shit. In any case, this week, word in the hallway is that it’s Crime Prevention Month for the first time in Bayside’s history and, in honor of this, they’ll be having special after school activities. The writers suddenly remembered that Screech knew karate once back in season two when he taught it to Bobby so, since Bobby’s long since disappeared without a trace, it’s time to teach it to someone else by having Screech’s karate master, Grand Master Doug, teach classes after school. Screech demonstrates how much he’s learned from Grand Master Doug by getting his foot stuck in a trash can.

Are we sure Grand Master Doug isn’t an ’80s rapper?

Nicky thinks karate is a great idea since he does wrestling and they’re totally the same. Maria decides to go along with him so the audience can have some more excuses to lose their shit.

And, since other characters need subplots, Ryan and Eric sign up to help Screech increase the security on Mr. Belding’s office because…I guess Screech remembers how easy it was to break into when he was a student at Bayside. Really, this could be the most useful thing Screech has done on this show, though enlisting the two most likely to break in isn’t smart.

Also, Katie suddenly feels insecure about staying with her aunt so Rachel says she has a plan that will keep them busy for the duration of this episode as well. Oh, please let it be totally lame, inconsequential, and make Katie look slightly insane!

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At the karate class, Grand Master Doug shows off a bit by kicking a dummy and throwing Screech down so you know they at least got someone who could approximate karate moves. I have no idea if this guy is a real karate master or not. He did lots of stuff but no bio on IMDB and he never did a martial arts role again. Most likely he’s a semi-competent stuntman.

Also, note that Screech is a yellow belt. It will be amusing later.

In any case, Grand Master Doug asks for volunteers and Nicky volunteers, believing he’s about to take down our white rapper. Predictably, he fails and is brought down instead.

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Also predictable since we’re ripping off an original series episode, Maria is up next and takes down Grand Master Doug easily.

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She also takes down Nicky, leaving him feeling emasculated since women are stupid and weak and shit.

Rachel and Katie come in and ask Screech for a karate dummy, saying Rachel’s going to dress it up with Katie. Geez, I hope this is a stupid subplot that’s going to make me wonder why I don’t gouge my eyes out.

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In Mr. Belding’s office, Screech, Ryan, and Eric install lots of stupid security measures like retractable bars on the windows and Screech’s voice yelling at any potential perpetrators that they’re going to get it. I know Screech’s voice would make me wish I was in prison. They leave to get more equipment to protect Mr. Belding’s laptop, Screech declaring that, if anything happened to it, Mr. Belding would never forgive him. Gee, I wonder what’s about to happen.

Mr. Belding passes the three on his way into his office and answers the phone, telling the voice on the other end, a computer technician, he’s bringing his laptop in to have more memory installed on it. He unplugs the laptop and brings it with him.

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Now despite Screech just passing Mr. Belding moments ago, he believes someone’s stolen the laptop, and this is his worried face. God, he’s a dumb ass.

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At The Max, Katie’s hanging out with her dummy because…god I wish I knew! People are making fun of it, including Nicky, who I’m convinced is just pouring salt in the wound of his failed relationship.

Screech runs in and tells Ryan and Eric about the laptop being missing. They decide that, rather than simply tell Mr. Belding, they need to devise an overly complicated plan to catch the non-existent thief.

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Everyone leaves but Nicky and Maria and Nicky goes to get a milkshake. Some idiot named Dirk (yeah, really) decides Maria’s ripe for the taking because she’s sitting alone. Nicky tries to get Dirk to move but Maria body slams him first, leaving nerds amazed that Nicky has a girlfriend who will beat people up for him. Also, the waiter is the most useless person there as he just stares open mouthed rather than, I don’t know, calling the police!

Back at Bayside, Katie likes her dummy, who she’s named Brad and added a realistic penis for her pleasure. She feels safe now that she’s dating a real man.

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Screech says he’s installing a booby trap to catch the thief, whom he’s sure will return to the scene of the crime. Also, he tells what he thinks is a lie that Mr. Belding’s laptop is in the shop and, when Mr. Belding doesn’t think twice about it, becomes convinced that he’s the best teller of lies in the world.

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Whew, that was a long day of school! We’re back at The Max, where Maria asks Nicky why he wasn’t at karate class. He says he’s decided karate is dumb if girls can do it and he won’t be going anymore. Maria, on the other hand, has been invited to be in a karate tournament at Bayside since she’s been doing karate for a whole day. Nicky marches out, upset that Maria likes something. Maria wonders if she should drop out of karate to please her man since that means everything at Bayside but Ryan decides it’s time for a plan to make Nicky feel better about himself.

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But not before Screech somehow rigs a door mat to drop a net over Mr. Belding’s head. Well, he did once create artificial life but that was before he started sniffing glue.

Ryan and Eric tell Screech the plan: to have Nicky think he catches the laptop thief, though it will be Ryan in a disguise, of course.

The plan starts with Eric telling Nicky he’s afraid to be alone in the hallway because Screech might molest him.

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Oh my god. Could Screech put on a less convincing act as a hostage? God, let’s just get this scene over with. Maria comes out of nowhere and body slams Ryan, further cutting Nicky’s penis off since his friends think he needs to feel better about himself. Maria promptly throws away her white belt because it symbolizes her quitting karate and shit.

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At The Max, Katie and Brad read together because she’s seriously losing it. Maybe she’s repressing all her resentment against Maria and Nicky. Or maybe she’s practicing for a future role on One Tree Hill.

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Maria comes in and tells her she’s decided to just give up and be whatever Nicky wants her to be.This leads to instant forgiveness from Nicky since Maria’s finally falling in line with societal gender expectations.

Also, Dirk harasses Katie a bit because he likes hitting on crazy girls.

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At Bayside, Maria’s dressed like an exaggerated version of Lisa Turtle meets Blanche from The Golden Girls because I wanted to see what Maria would look like if she dressed like my grandmother and acted like a mental patient.
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Mr. Belding’s sick of Screech’s stupid traps and tells Screech to get rid of all his stupid stuff in the office, starting with himself. But first Screech gives a pep talk to Maria about being herself and doing what makes her happy, whether her boyfriend likes it or not, which would be good advice if Screech didn’t follow it up with sticking his hand in a giant mouse trap. Oh, Screech, even when you try to be competent, you’re not.

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At the karate tournament, Dirk won’t leave Katie alone so she tells him off, leading him to run off crying. Katie realizes bullies are super easy to get to leave you alone so she decides to abandon Brad, leaving him to whatever fate may befall him. I should totally start a Tumblr: Brad travels the world after Katie abandons him. What will he see?

Maria comes in wearing a yellow belt. Yes, a yellow belt, the same rank as Screech. In just a few days, she became just as good at karate as Screech is supposed to be. How sad and believable is that! In any case, she tells Nicky he better get with the picture since the episode’s almost over. He needs to grow some balls and support her and overcome the lazy gender stereotypes that have been forced upon them. She then goes in to compete.

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Screech catches the computer technician, whom he decides has to be the thief. Mr. Belding tells Screech he’s a fucking moron and that all this would have been avoided if the writers had been competent enough to realize that, even if Mr. Belding had his laptop stolen, it wouldn’t have been Screech’s fault because he didn’t do anything to precipitate it, for once. Once again, Screech promises to be honest with Mr. Belding, but I’m sure he’ll forget that promise when it’s convenient to the plot.

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Maria’s up first and she competes as Nicky comes in to cheer her on since he’s now an enlightened man due to episode running time being short.

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And our episode ends with Maria being proud that she learned a valuable lesson she can impart to the winners. She knocks her opponent down twice but we never find out if she wins as winning isn’t as important as getting a moral out in the laziest possible way: via plagiarized writing.

But what upsets me most is that neither Ralph Macchio nor Pat Morita had anything to do with this episode. Of course, that was something much better with the words “Karate” and “Kid” in the title, something I wouldn’t feel exasperated from having watched.

3 responses to “The New Class Season 4, Episode 16: “Karate Kids”

  1. It’s nice to see Dirk doing well for himself after being the Bayside Bully.

    Now he’s in Hell’s Kitchen New York as a lawyer with his blind partner.

    Also didn’t Dirk like Hockey when he was a kid?

  2. It sounds like the writers didn’t take the opportunity to make turn the karate theme into a bunch of racist jokes. Progress?

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